Monday, 4 August 2008

Come Rain or Shine

Sunday was an eventful day. A 12km race was on the cards. The time of start was 7:30 am. Of course, there would be some delay, it was expected. I was not happy with this. I prefer to run earlier. That also fits in better with my perception of my domestic and other duties. My husband got real pissed off at me Saturday night because I was not in a good mood about the race. The reason being that only three women participants had signed up. Somehow I felt responsible for this lack of response from my gender.

I was hoping it would not rain (at least not much) on race day. I woke up at 6 am. Tea, milk, coffee, and so on happened as usual. I oiled my hair and braided it for my Impedimenta look. My black outfit was all set out the previous night. I donned it. Affixed a hat on the head and a rain jacket around my waist. It added wind resistance someone commented. But I was happy I had that jacket with me, what if it had poured in the usual Mumbai way? I could not afford to get soggy wet on top of my sweat. Have a full load of work work this week, and my husband is out of town all week.

Off I went to the campus. The people had already congregated when I reached. We waited. It turned out that one of the women had dropped out. That left the two of us. I know the other lady, we had ridden together to the Mumbai half back in January. A very sweet person, also, I had played basketball with her daughter a few weeks ago. I was telling her about that, and how it was fun though I wished the kid would braid her hair (it is real long, and keep getting tangled in my hands when I was marking her). So we were chatting of everything except the race. I was not in the least bit nervous at any rate. Wish it were different! I think the pre-race jitters have a role to play in providing you some more drive.

The number of participants was real small. I guess I am used to Mumbai Marathon numbers of late. Which runs into tens of thousands. Here, there were what, fifty people in all? I really thought the young ones would show up in serious numbers, of course, youngsters play video games these days, they don't get out and run in the rain like mad people.

Or maybe they are intimidated by the distance. I would have probably balked at 12 km when younger for sure, thinking of it as 12000 m, me, who was used to 100, 200, and, 800 m races, at the maximum. Of course my priorities (and my physical abilities) have changed over time. Opportunity has driven me to longer distances. As I have mentioned here earlier, even in this wonderful place that I exist in, in the middle of Mumbai, the chance to participate in any form of athletic tournament is virtually nil for me. It was nil back in December, and shall remain so. So, the one off, longer distance races it shall be. They shall not intimidate me, at least not anything less than 25 km. But I can imagine that it sounds daunting. I must just be thankful that I was not the only woman participant! That the other one was my friend.

The race started around 7:50 am. I struggled a bit around 8-9 km. Took short walks. But completed in reasonable shape. The monster & husband were waiting at the finish for me. The official timing read around 60 mins though I felt I did it in 70. Not very sure. There were a fair number of people trickling in after me, which probably put me at around 25 in ranking. Give or take a few. Could have probably reduced my time by around 5 mins, but I did not find that inner thing. Or, I sort of had a bit of a break around the 8-9 km mark. It was fun while it lasted, the distance was sweet enough, compared to the Mumbai half, which will require, of course, much better training (which I usually start around October, once the rains stop).

The race featured a blind runner, who was extremely impressive. Also a few young children who rocked the place. The men's winner was a 55 year old man, remarkably fit. My friends all did pretty well. Every participant made it back to the finish without mishap (as far as I know). I think it is fair to say that the race by itself was very successful.

Although I was not totally keen to, everyone insisted we wait around a bit. The monster was getting hungry, I thought we should head home, but anyway hung around. I run for myself, maybe a bit for these two creatures who show up usually at the finish line and feel damn proud of me whatever I do or don't do. Although that is not very good in itself, I feel pretty satisfied with my timing, even if I know I could have done better. I feel it is enough, given everything else. Which is good because after that long-ish wait with a frisky child, they very nearly forgot to give/announce my prize. But then I have friends who still think I am all that even if they finish ten minutes ahead of me but don't get anything for their efforts (because they are male). They made the organisers hurriedly fill in a certificate and shove Rs. 300 into an envelope, and, it was handed over to me, as an afterthought, sure, but still, for being the winner of the women's 12 km.


Airspy said...

Congratulations! heres to your amazing spirit.

Rs.300 in an envelope brings back memories of other envelopes won at odd inter-collegiate meets which you could encash only at casette stores or some such.

kbpm said...

hey airspy, exactly what it felt like! Giggles & Scribbles was one such store. I remember buying a PINK shirt for my dad once.
Do you remember INDIA QUIZ? I am still pissed off at all the guys who copied. :(

dipali said...

Sounds good! I need to need to need to get back to my walks. Keep inspiring me, Kenny!

choxbox said...

you sounded as fresh as a daisy when i spoke to you after the run!

btw your city was super pretty. if i ever win the lottery i'll buy a mansion close to chamundi hills. there was masses of space in front of the houses, i actually caught a fleeting glimpse of a cheap running inside his compound, trainers and all.

JDB said...

Congratulations.!! It was an impressive run. I tried very hard to catch up with you during the race but you were too good. As you'd said, it was more of a mental fitness that was required apart from the physical fitness; no wonder there were more 35+ guys in the top ten than any 20 something kid!!

kbpm said...

you have a few more weeks of recovery time no? even after that you should take it slow initially i suppose. anyway will be glad to hear that you are back on the walks!

i am sure you can afford a mansion. go for it! & yes, I was not tired (much) as it was a short distance compared to Mum.Mar.

thanks. you should also remember that all of us oldies have been in training for the mumbai half for the past four years now. am sure you can do MUCH better if you train. there is lots of time now till Jan 18th! Go for it!

Sraikh said...

Congrats on the finishing the race. 12k in 60 mins is impressive.. woohoo.

I thought of you this morning(sary isnt it thinking of someone whom you never met) while walking. I do nordic walking(a pole in each hand) and listen to music. Here in USA< everyone and its dog will smile and say good morning to you. So because I have poles, I cannot lift my hand in greeting, and because I have my loud music on, I dont know whether they said good morning or not, so I do the tight lipped smile with half a nod. :)

Ludwig said...

i'm seriously worried now. you're scooting around like a newborn gazelle while i sit on butt and grow fatter and fatter. haven't been out for a run in...shit, don't even remember. at this rate Bombay is going to be a fiasco...

kbpm said...

should you not be just thankful for having recovered (have you?) from your various associated illnesses?
& if anything you have lost lots of weight recently (except for your head of course). and my tires are per normal, thank you. my fat percentage was 25.2%. meaning bloody fourth of my body is fat. should be floating.

kbpm said...

wow that nordic walking sounds cool!!

Serious Lounger said...

25% body fat.. kbpm, you are almost on par with the seal pup now (missus and I zink he is about 99% cuddly fat :D :P).. the elder one is all skin and bones a bit like the monster in fact and he is taller than her (ha ha) and he has also got those long, tangly legs, makes for a pretty clumsy coot though.. heheh..